PRETRIAL LITIGATION – Fall 2014 Course Information and Syllabus Professor Anne Alexander

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PRETRIAL LITIGATION – Fall 2014
Course Information and Syllabus
University of Missouri School of Law
Professor Anne Alexander
I.
Classes. Our class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:20 in Room 109. This course
will focus on the legal principles, techniques, strategies and skills involved in civil pretrial litigation.
This is an experiential course; it will involve a semester long simulation of a pretrial litigation
simulation.
II.
Office Hours. I will hold office hours in my office in room 306 from 3:30-4:30 on Tuesdays and
Thursdays. However, I hope you will feel comfortable dropping by anytime. If I am not in my
office in Room 306, please send me an email to arrange a good time to talk. I would also be happy to
talk with you before or after class so that we can schedule a mutually convenient time to talk. My
cell phone number is 573-999-6246 (preferred number), my office telephone number is 882-5186,
and my email is [email protected]
III.
Students with Disabilities. If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of
this course, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need to
make arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please let me know as soon as
possible. If disability-related accommodations are necessary (for example, a note taker,
extended time on exams, captioning), please register with the Disability Center
(http://disabilitycenter.missouri.edu), S5 Memorial Union, 573- 882-4696, and then notify
Registrar Denise Boessen and Dean Christina Wells of your eligibility for reasonable
accommodations. For other MU resources for students with disabilities, click on “Disability
Resources” on the MU homepage.
IV.
Attendance and Participation. Class attendance and participation is extremely important and not
only your success, but the success or failure of our class, will depend, in part, upon the preparation
and participation of each student in the class. For this reason, I expect any student who will not be
present in class, or who will not be prepared to participate, to present me with a written motion
requesting an excused absence. Your class attendance AND participation will be considered in
determining the class participation and professionalism portion of your grade in this class, as
described below. You may miss TWO classes without penalty; for each additional unexcused
absence, you should expect a deduction of up to two points from your final grade. Subject to an
emergency situation, any student who misses six (6) classes will not receive a passing grade and
will be dismissed from the class. I also reserve the right to impose upon students who, without a
valid excuse, do not attend class or are not prepared to participate, all other sanctions permitted by
the rules of the School of Law.
V.
Class Preparation. I will expect that each student has carefully read all of the day's assigned text
material, watched any assigned podcasts, and has come to class prepared to engage in discussion and
law firm At least some of our class discussions, such as many of the classes concerning discovery,
will focus on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or Federal Rules of Evidence. For these classes, I
expect students to have with them in class not only the class text but also copies of the pertinent rule.
An electronic copy is sufficient.
VI.
Class Materials. The required text for this course is: Thomas A. Mauet, Pretrial (8th ed. 2012).
Additional materials will be posted on the course TWEN site, with which you should enroll. I also
expect that students will have with them copies of the current version of the appropriate rules of civil
procedure and evidence (Missouri and/or Federal) in those classes in which they are likely to be
discussed; electronic access is sufficient. You may bring with you copies of the rules from other
classes—so long as the Rules are current.
VII.
Grading. Your grade in this class will be based upon the number of points that you earn in the
following three areas:
Written assignments (40%);
Skills assignments (40%);
Participation & Professionalism (20%).
1) Participation & Professionalism. Twenty percent of your class grade will come from
participation and professionalism. In awarding these points I will consider your class
attendance, your preparation for class, and your participation in the class. I expect regular,
valuable contributions from all members of the class. It is my hope and expectation that all
students in the class will achieve at or near the maximum score for this portion of the final
grade. Your Participation and Professionalism grade may be reduced for reasons including
(but not limited to) the following: failing to prepare for AND participate in class, significant
deficiencies on Pass/Fail assignments, failing to timely respond to emails, or failing to turn
in any assignment on time.
2) Written Assignments. You will do a lot of writing for this class. Forty percent of your class
grade will be earned based upon your work on written class assignments.
The following is a list of the major writing assignments. There will be other smaller writing
assignments that will be graded on a pass/fail basis.
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
Email Memorandum
Petition or Answer
Written Discovery Requests
Pretrial Motion
The School of Law's Honor Code applies to all written work done in this course. I
expect that the signatures of all who have contributed to a written assignment will be
affixed to the document.
3) Skills Assignments. Forty percent of your grade will be earned based upon your performance
of various simulated pretrial litigation tasks. The following is a list of the major skills
assignments. There will be other smaller skills assignments that will be graded on a pass/fail
basis.
(1)
(2)
(3)
Client/Witness Interviews
Deposition
Pretrial Motion: Oral Argument
4) Additional Assignments. In addition to the graded assignments, you will have other
assignments, most of which will be completed collaboratively by your law firm group. All
students will also be expected to come to class prepared to perform the tasks necessary to
move the pretrial litigation forward. Each of these assignments will be graded Pass/Fail.
VII.
Recording not Permitted. University of Missouri System Executive Order No. 38 lays out
principles regarding the sanctity of classroom discussions at the university. The policy is described
fully in Section 200.015 of the Collected Rules and Regulations. In this class, students may not make
audio or video recordings of course activity, except students permitted to record as an
accommodation under Section 240.040 of the Collected Rules. All other students who record and/or
distribute audio or video recordings of class activity are subject to discipline in accordance with
provisions of Section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri
pertaining to student conduct matters.
Those students who are permitted to record are not permitted to redistribute audio or video
recordings of statements or comments from the course to individuals who are not students in the
course without the express permission of the faculty member and of any students who are recorded.
Students found to have violated this policy are subject to discipline in accordance with provisions
of Section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri pertaining
to student conduct matters.
VIII.
Academic Integrity. Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of the
School of Law. All members of the law school community must be confident that each person's
work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an
advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The law
school community regards breaches of the School of Law's Honor Code as extremely serious
matters. In the event that you violate our Academic Integrity rules on any portion of the work
required for this class, you may expect a failing grade in this course as well as possible disciplinary
sanctions ranging from probation to expulsion. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing,
quoting, collaboration, or any other form of cheating, consult the course instructor.
IX.
Suggestions. I am very interested in your feedback and suggestions and hope that you will share
your thoughts on the course with me as the semester progresses. If you have any suggestions
concerning any aspect of the course, please speak with me after class, in my office, leave a note for
me at my office, or send me an email.
Overview
Class
Week
Dates
1
August
26/28
Topic(s)
Introduction
2
September
2/4
Client
Counseling
Client
Counseling
Fact
Development
3
September
9/11
Fact
Development
4
September
16/18
Legal
Investigation
5
September
23/25
Pleadings
6
Chapter 2, §§ 2.1 – 2.3
Chapter 4, §§ 4.2-4.4
Chapter 2, § 2.4-2.5
Chapter 3
Due: Representation/Fee
Agreement
Due: Email Memorandum
Due: Complaint/Petition OR
Answer
Chapter 5
Chapter 5
Case
Evaluation/
Strategy
Chapter 4, §§ 4.5-4.6
October
7/9
Written
Discovery
Chapter 6 (Except § 6.9)
8
October
14/16
Written
Discovery
Chapter 6 (Except § 6.9)
9
October
21/23
Written
Discovery
Chapter 6 (Except § 6.9)
10
October
28/30
Depositions
Chapter 6, § 6.9
11
November
4/6
Depositions
Chapter 6, § 6.9
12
November
11/13
Motion
Practice
Chapter 7
13
November
18/20
Motion
Practice
Chapter 7
Meet with Partner
Due: Written Discovery Requests &
Responses
Meet with Partner
Do: Deposition
Meet with Partner
Negotiation /
Settlement
Due: Pretrial Motion
Meet with Partner
Do: Pretrial Motion Oral Argument
Thanksgiving
December
2/4
Do: Client Interview
Do: Witness Interviews
7
14
Assignments
Chapter 1
Chapter 4, § 4.7
Pleadings
September
30 /
October 2
Reading
Chapter 8
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